My interest in libraries started when I was a teenage volunteer in my junior high school library. Through the years, I have always admired and respected the librarians who seemed to know the best books and where to find the information that I needed. They were always there to answer my questions.
I majored in English in college and after I graduated from the University of Oklahoma, I worked as a high school English teacher in Fort Worth and Irving, Texas. I depended upon the school librarians to help me with my students' research papers.
After I retired from teaching, I decided I wanted to volunteer at my public library and joined the Tulsa Friends of the Library. I was fortunate enough to be asked to serve on the Friends board where I was president from 1989 to 1991. Our Tulsa Friends group received the Baker and Taylor Award for Outstanding Friends Group for Large Budget Libraries in the U.S.A. in 1990. I received the Distinguished Service Award from the Tulsa Friends Group in 1992.
I also served on the Tulsa Library Trust Board from 1993 to 2002. I was Secretary/Treasurer of the Trust from 1994 to 1996 and received the Tulsa City-County Library Hall of Fame Award in 1997.
I am a board member of Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO) and have served as treasurer, vice-president and president. In 1997, I received the FOLIO Hall of Fame Award.
I represented Oklahoma on the Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA) board of directors from 1997 to 2001. I served as a judge for the Baker and Taylor Award for Outstanding Friends Group in the Small Budget Library division for 1998 - 1999.
In conclusion, I feel so grateful to the Oklahoma Library Association that they have chosen to honor me with this recognition. The awards I've received in the past were because I represented the hard-working and dedicated volunteers who love their libraries and give of their time and talent to make their programs a success. I am truly grateful for all the new friends I have met working with the volunteers and librarians not only in Tulsa, but also in Oklahoma and across the U.S.A. I will always cherish these friendships and for me....it is my greatest reward.
Beverly Dieterlen accepts the Oklahoma Library Legends Award
from OLA President Pat Weaver-Meyers
April 2, 2007
Return to the Oklahoma Library Legends